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Atlas of Middle-earth [Paperback]

Karen Wynn Fonstad , J.R.R. Tolkien , Christopher Tolkien
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 10 2001 0618126996 978-0618126996 Rev Sub
Karen Wynn Fonstad's THE ATLAS OF MIDDLE-EARTH is an essential volume that will enchant all Tolkien fans. Here is the definitive guide to the geography of Middle-earth, from its founding in the Elder Days through the Third Age, including the journeys of Bilbo, Frodo, and the Fellowship of the Ring. Authentic and updated -- nearly one third of the maps are new, and the text is fully revised -- the atlas illuminates the enchanted world created in THE SILMARILLION, THE HOBBIT, and THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
Hundreds of two-color maps and diagrams survey the journeys of the principal characters day by day -- including all the battles and key locations of the First, Second, and Third Ages. Plans and descriptions of castles, buildings, and distinctive landforms are given, along with thematic maps describing the climate, vegetation, languages, and population distribution of Middle-earth throughout its history. An extensive appendix and an index help readers correlate the maps with Tolkien's novels.

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Product Description

From Amazon

The publishing world is full of Tolkien spinoff products, some trivial and ephemeral--but some, like this thoroughly researched atlas, are genuinely classy. Karen Wynn Fonstad is a qualified geographer and cartographer who first mapped Middle-Earth in 1981 and has since added much new detail based on those endless volumes of drafts, abandoned passages, alternative versions, and laundry lists published since Tolkien's death. She fills in gaps and details in the familiar Third Age maps from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, goes back in time to map Middle-Earth's First and Second Ages, and reconstructs the route and timescale of every important journey in the stories. There are local maps of key places like the Mines of Moria, Lothlorien, Isengard, Minas Tirth, the Tower of Cirith Ungol, and the volcanic Mount Doom. War maps cover the saga's notable battles, up to the hopeless last stand at Mordor gate and the tiny later skirmish known in Shire records as the Battle of Bywater. Thematic maps show Middle-Earth's distribution of climate, geological features, vegetation, people, and (most importantly to Tolkien) languages.... It's all done tremendously seriously and would make a fine gift for enthusiastic Tolkien fans, except that they'll have bought it already. --David Langford, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Tolkien loved maps and geography played a great importance in his books. In the paperback revision of a hardcover that is out of print, cartographer Fonstad here details that aspect of these stories.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most detailed atlas i have ever seen Aug. 14 2004
By A Customer
I got this book wanting to see the lands of Rhun, Far Harad, Beleriand, Valinor, and the other lands not really mapped out in detail in the books. What I found was the entire history of Lord of the Rings in atlas form. Every chapter in the Silmarillion, Hobbit, and LoTR is mapped in detail and explained. Landscape, movements of the servants of Morgoth and Sauron, wars, settlements of elves and men and dwarves, to the world of Tolkien in its entirety from the void, to valinor, to middle earth, to the lands beyond throughout the ages. This is an amazingly detailed atlas of Tolkiens world that any fan would enjoy.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Resource Dec 30 2003
Aside from the actual maps drawn or approved by JRR Tolkien in his lifetime, Fonstad's maps are THE primary cartographic source for fans of the books. Additionally, they are by far the most complete and detailed. The maps are not in full color, but in brown, black and shades of gray. In other words, this isn't an art book. It's meant strictly for finding your way through Middle Earth, and in that respect Fonstad is remarkably successful. Her atlas includes both large scale maps of whole regions as well as "blueprints" of all the major buildings (Minas Tirith, Meduseld, etc. right down to the location of every room in Bag End). It also traces the journey of each party in the fellowship as the story progresses. Maps of the first and second age as well as schematic graphical representations of battles are presented (ie invading and defending hosts are represented by arrows). Overall, very helpful and worthy of any serious Tolkienite's library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate companion to The Lord of the Rings Feb. 27 2004
As I said in my subject title, this book is the ultimate companion to the Lord of the Rings saga by JRR Tolkien.
The Atlas goes into immense details of the maps of Tolkien's Middle Earth, highlighting the journeys of Bilbo, Frodo and The Fellowship of the Ring.
It is all done in a very serious, sincere and professional manner, and it is clear that Ms. Fonstad has put a lot of effort into making this book.
But like all works of fiction, there are errors, but there are few to be sure. Where these errors arise, Ms Fonstad has made reasonable assumptions or compromises between the conflicting data, but none of them seriously detract from Tolkien's word in any way. As another reviewer said, this is testament to the creative genius of Tolkien, and his uncanny attention to detail that make the books so believable.
I highly recommend this book to any Lord of the Rings fan, as it is a fascinating book that clarifies the geography of Middle-Earth in a way that has never been done before.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank God for Tolkien's Obsession for Details... Jan. 23 2004
Then I first heard that JRR Tolkien prided himself in his attention to specific details, I was somewhat skeptical. When I found out that Tokien had drawn his own map of Middle-Earth, I realized that the man was an obsessed freak (but in a good way). The Atlas of Middle-Earth does live up to it's title as an atlas, providing the proper distance scales, descriptions, and directions (Tolkien had even developed unique symbols for north, south, east, and west). Every place mentioned in Tolkien's works is wonderfully explored in this book. From the plains of Mordor to the halls of Bag End. Even the city of Minas Tirith and the volcano Mount Doom are examined. Fans of The Silmarillion will delight in the maps of Valinor. There are even maps tracking the paths of the journeys in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. This book is an excellent addition to the library of anyone who admires and loves the works of JRR Tolkien.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ATLAS IS GOOD TO USE WHILE READING THE BOOK. Sept. 1 2002
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless Jan. 18 2004
By A Customer
This is one of the most treasured books i own. While, and after reading Tolkien's books, i found it to be a goldmine of information. This is the only atlas you will need. It is definately worth the money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great resource for Fans of Middle Earth Jan. 28 2003
This atlas is an excellent resouce for the Middle Earth works. While reading Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and others, I had a hard time getting a visual picture of an area or map in my mind. This book was everything I wanted and more. I was surprised at the extensive amount of information on each age and the great illustrations and maps for everything from Bilbo's attercop chapter with the spiders in Mirkwood and the escape of the Dwarves' and Bilbo, to the mines of Moria including Gandalf's path of escape. Karen Wynn Fonstad has put an extensive amount of research and time into an excellent book. It has made my reading of J.R.R. Tolkien's work so much more meaningful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy addition to a Tolkein library March 7 2004
If your interest is in the Mythology of Middle Earth, this book with its extensive illustrations and commentary increase your understanding of the story. If you are only passing through the Tolkein universe through the guidance of the films by Peter Jackson, you can be brought further understanding of the depth of Dr. Tolkein's masterwork. I hope you purchase the book, and enjoy it as much a I.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It didn't have a complete map of the Third Age that I was looking for, but was very helpful.
Published 24 days ago by Susnh
3.0 out of 5 stars As mostly expected . . .
For the cost and the handling it took it was okay, the corner of the cover got folded somewhere, should have been wrapped in cellophane for the price and the handling it gets.
Published 9 months ago by Leonard Magee
4.0 out of 5 stars Explicit Detail
A great choice for the Middle Earth buff who simply cannot get enough detail about Tolkien's universe. I've really enjoyed it so far.
Published 21 months ago by Toby
5.0 out of 5 stars THE best companion for any travel to Middle Earth and beyond
If you need some suplement while reading Tolkien, this should be the first thing you get.

The pros :
VERY detailed. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Jonathan Bergeron
5.0 out of 5 stars Man, what an awesome book!
Then I first heard that JRR Tolkien prided himself in his attention to specific details, I was somewhat skeptical. Read more
Published on Jan. 23 2004 by Mpiumetti
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Detailed
Anyone who has problems following the trails blazed by the characters in Tolkien's books would enjoy this Atlas Of Middle Earth. Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2004 by Kimberly A. Bateau
2.0 out of 5 stars it will keep you entertained................
trying to figure out how to read these incredibly confusing maps
.as others have said its inacurate and very un-detailed. Read more
Published on Dec 28 2003 by reweiver
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